Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s school has students self-isolate for suspected coronavirus

(LONDON) — The threat of the coronavirus has hit the London school attended by Prince William and Duchess Kate’s two oldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.A spokesperson for Thomas’s Battersea has confirmed to several U.K. media outlets that a few students at the school have self-isolated for suspected novel coronavirus and are awaiting test results.”Like all schools we are taking the potential risks connected with the spread of COVID-19 very seriously and to this end are following government guidance to the letter around both prevention against infection and in dealing with cases where any staff or pupils are suspected of being exposed to the virus or who display any symptoms,” the spokesperson said in a statement published by the outlets. “We currently have a very small number of pupils who have been tested and these individuals are currently, as per government advice, remaining at home pending the receipt of their test results.”Thomas’s Battersea has not yet responded to ABC News’ request for comment.George, 6, is in his third year at Thomas’s Battersea and Charlotte, 4, started her first year at the school last fall.The private school is located in Battersea, South London, less than four miles from Kensington Palace, where Charlotte and George live with their brother, 1-year-old Prince Louis, and William and Kate. It has around 550 students from a variety of backgrounds.Thomas’s Battersea has informed parents, including William and Kate, about the coronavirus testing and is not commenting on specific cases to “preserve staff and pupil confidentiality,” according to the spokesperson.The newly identified virus, known officially as COVID-19, originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan back in December and has since spread overseas to at least 37 other countries, with South Korea, Italy and Iran seeing recent surges in case numbers. The World Health Organization, which has declared the outbreak a global health emergency and said it “absolutely” has the potential to become a pandemic, has recorded more than 81,000 confirmed infections globally. Over 96% of those cases were in China.At least 2,762 people have died from confirmed cases of the virus, all but 44 in China, according to the latest data from the WHO.COVID-19 causes symptoms similar to pneumonia, ranging from the mild, such as a slight cough, to the more severe, including fever and difficulty breathing, according to the CDC. There is no vaccine yet for the virus.Increasing concerns over virus exposure have prompted some airlines to suspend flights to China and South Korea and cities around the world to suspend public gatherings and close schools, businesses and restaurants. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday ordered the closure of all schools nationwide to help control the spread of the disease.More than one dozen people have tested positive for coronavirus in England, according to the BBC.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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